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FGN accuses Nigerians in diaspora of funding secessionist groups - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! The Federal Government of Nigeria has accused some Nigerians in Diaspora of funding ...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Fayemi names Adeoye, father of son rejected in viral COVID-19 ambassador - ITREALMS

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has appointed Commander Femi Adeoye (rtd), of the viral "Father Rejects Son" video as an ambassador of the Covid-19 Response in Ekiti state for his integrity and exemplary show of valour in the ongoing fight against Covid-19 pandemic, reports ITREALMS.

Dr Fayemi also made the retired Federal Road Safety Officer a member of the State's Covid-19 Taskforce which the Governor headed as chairman.

Adeoye shot into limelight when a video of him insisting that his son, who returned to Ekiti State from a trip outside the state be isolated for 14 days as stipulated by NCDC protocol for preventing community spread of Covid-19, went viral.

Governor Fayemi who received Adeoye in his office on Thursday commended him for his patriotism and selflessness.

Presenting the Commendation letter to Adeoye Governor Fayemi, who eulogised the retired FRSC Officer said his action was the hallmark of Ekiti values which the administration is promoting.

The Governor, who assured that his son would soon be released to him after the 14 days quarantine, urged Ekiti people to emulate the selfless attitude of Cmdr. Adeoye by reporting promptly anyone who entered the state through whatever means to the appropriate authority.

He said the major solution to the Covid-19 pandemic is prevention through social distancing and observing other and strict observance of hygienic procedures recomended by NCDC and health officials.

According to Dr Fayemi, “Anyone who has not been resident in Ekiti in the period that this disease has inflicted Nigeria should stay wherever they are even if you are Ekiti person and decide to come to Ekiti, you should be ready to be quarantined for 14 days.

"We see that you adhered to this strictly. You have demonstrated the values for which we were known for and you also demonstrated that integrity and your good name are far more important than any other thing and that is why you have to be accorded a responsibility. I hope you will accept to be a Covid-19 Response Ambassador in our state and a member of the covid-19 task force.

“We don’t know how many lives you have saved by this singular action because we don’t even know your son's status yet but we pray that nothing happens to him and even if it turns out that way, he would still be safe.”

Part of the commendation letter presented to Adeoye by Governor Fayemi reads: “I am pleased to let you know that the state is very proud of your conduct which elevated the collective wellbeing of the state above your undeniable love for your dear son.

“In accordance to existing regulations, denying your son entry into your household, having travelled from places under federal lockdown against your fatherly advice, you have proved to be a worthy ambassador of our collective resolve to end this pandemic.

“Our government and the good people of Ekiti State are very proud of this chivalrous act of courage and principle which are the hallmarks of the Ekiti person. You represent the kind of self-discipline, selflessness and sense of collective responsibility that our state and our nation need desperately today to progress.

“Indeed, the state will, in future recognize your valour as an example of the rebirth of Ekiti values orientation which is the central focus of this administration.

"For now, we would be most delighted if you consent to being accorded the role of Covid-19 response ambassador in Ekiti state helping to propagate the message as a member of Covid-19 task force in the state.”

Responding, Cmdr. Adeoye expressed his appreciation to the state government and to the governor for recognizing his little contribution towards the drive to end the pandemic in the country.

He said people should not see him as a wicked father but someone who believed that the nation is greater than an individual, adding that he did what he did for the collective good of all.

While accepting the award by the governor, the new ambassador noted that Governor Fayemi had been receiving a lot of commendations for the proactive manner he had been working to curtail the pandemic in the state. He added that his action was his own little way of supporting the government's efforts

Ayo Midele/Editor

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100 Days in Office: Uzodinma’s an all-round failure says ILP - ITREALMS

The Imo League of Patriots (ILP), a socio-political pressure group, has taken a swipe at the administration of Senator Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, describing it as an all-round failure, reports ITREALMS.

The League’s Director of Publicity, Professor Luke Mgborokwu in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS said the first 100 days of Governor Uzodinma’s administration in the state is a disaster.

They frowned at what it described as the absence of direction and focus in the present administration, warning that the development may spell doom for the State, if the drivers of the administration do not take urgent steps to remedy the situation.

“We have taken time to observe the present administration in the state in the last 100 days. We have assessed its performance, activities and programmes for people of the state and there appears to be no direction. There is no clear roadmap on how to improve the lots of our people. We are in a critical period and this is not the time to leave anything to chance. After Covid-19, the economy of the world will not remain the same. The way the state Government is going about tackling the Covid-19 challenge is unfortunate. The fact that there is no plan, whatsoever, on how the state will survive post Covid-19 period is even more worrisome. All we see and hear everyday are stories and diversionary tactics.”

“The last 100 days is not anything to celebrate in the state. It was a disaster. The administration of Senator Hope Uzodinma is yet to show capacity in governance. It is our collective position that the first 100 days of this administration is an all-round failure. There is no sector of the economy that one can point to say that a good foundation has been laid by the present administration. The essence of this is to make the Uzodinma-led administration in the state to sit up and tackle governance issues head on.”

“If in three months, he has appointed hundreds of aides, without portfolio and managed the affairs of the state in utmost secrecy, then we are in trouble. The fact that most of the persons he has so far appointed into public positions do not have requisite knowledge and experience to handle government business makes things worse.”

Continuing, the group called on Governor Hope Uzodinma to review his strategy, have a focus and engage the services of more competent persons, mainly professionals, to manage government business.

Reacting to a recent report credited to Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, attempting to take credit for the revival of Adapalm Nigeria Limited and restoration of Public Water supply in Owerri, the group described it as shameful, warning the state government to desist from distorting facts.

“Resuscitating the oil palm sub-sector was a key component of former Governor Ihedioha’s agricultural revolution. He inaugurated an Interim Management Committee for Adapalm. In addition, he established the Agricultural Team, chaired by the then Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources. They worked under the direct supervision of the former Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona. They interacted with stakeholders severally, where they briefed them on their activities. We are aware that as at the time Ihedioha left office, Adapalm resuscitation project had reached nearly eighty (80%) percent completion. This administration must desist from insulting the sensibilities of our people.”

“Again, on Imo State Internally Generated Revenue, credit must be given to former Governor Emeka Ihedioha. As at May 29, 2019, when he took over as Governor of Imo State, the IGR of the State was a paltry 200m, monthly. As at the time he was removed in January, 2020, the state monthly IGR was already over a billion Naira.”

“The truth is that the only way Imo citizens will take Governor Uzodinma and his administration seriously is when they tell us the truth. They have started on a very wrong note. Not being prepared for governance is already a big minus. Having a culture of lies and deceit will make things worse. It is either Uzodinma rises to the challenge of leading Imo or he resigns.”

Further the League urged Uzodinma to show humility by embracing the good foundation laid by the administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha in the state.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Covid-19: FG’s adoption of Makinde’s strategy exposes Folarin - ITREALMS

The Governor Seyi Makinde's government in Oyo State has taken a swipe on the Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Teslim Folarin, for criticising the Oyo State government’s Covid-19 containment strategies, some of which the Federal Government has now adopted, reports ITREALMS.

Folarin, ITREALMS gathered, while speaking on a radio programme in Ibadan on Tuesday,criticised Makinde on how he managed the COVID-19 containment strategies.

But speaking through the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said Wednesday, that the Senator needed to respect his person and office by refraining from using words like “dangerous” and “irresponsible” to describe actions of a popularly elected governor.

The statement read: “Those who have closely watched the actions of Governor Seyi Makinde since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic would realise that the governor’s steps have been informed by logic and scientific realities.

“When everyone was clamouring for total lockdown, he resisted and went for a curfew and what is called partial lockdown. He closed the schools, worship centres, government offices and non-essential markets. He insisted that those who work at night or patronise night clubs are more at risk of spreading coronavirus.

“He insisted on getting a scientific lid on the behavioural patterns of the virus in the community by conducting massive tests. Right now, his state has embarked on initial massive testing of 2,000 persons while another 10,000 persons would be tested during the upcoming community testing exercise.

“He also directed the compulsory use of facemasks, while markets are directed to put in place hand washing spots and maintain social distancing.

“With the acclaimed partial lockdown, residents of the state are able to find food in the daytime, while farmers are also able to go to their farms. Don’t forget that this is the beginning of planting season and the fear of food insecurity should be of concern to any forward-looking government.

“We are pleased that the Federal Government has now adopted some of the Covid-19 containment strategies of Governor Makinde, with the relaxation of total lockdown and the commencement of curfew that it announced would kick start on May 4.

“Now that the above would be the reality in Abuja, where Folarin resides, he should be graceful enough to apologise to Governor Makinde and swallow his words.”

Adisa declared that Folarin has equally sold himself out as an enemy of the people by criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech in which he relaxed the lockdown in some states, noting that it was clear the senator was interested in seeing people pushed into more hardship and frustration.

“It is apparent that rather than think of the general well-being of the people of Oyo State, Folarin’s concerns were merely informed by political considerations, an anathema in an era as this, when all hands should be on deck to solve the present danger to human existence called Covid-19,” Adisa said.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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How 3D technology is helping fight against COVID-19 - ITREALMS

Over recent years we have seen Third Dimension (3D) printing technology has become more accessible than ever and now this technology which seemed reserved for hi-tech conglomerates and spy movies is proving its worth in the fight against the Coronavirus.

With the COVID-19 outbreak snowballing its way across the globe, medical supplies such as face masks, respirators and ventilators have become scarce and this shortage has prompted action by the 3D printing community and aficionados. From specialised masks to various breathing apparatus, 3D printing is helping people to think ‘out of the box’ and share their designs for free in the hope that it will help lower the infection rate.

Brian Andrew Managing Director for RS Components in Sub Sahara Africa said that there has been a significant increase in interest in 3D printers over recent years. “When commercial 3D printing first made its way on the scene, it was expensive and only a few individuals saw the potential of owning a 3D printer. With advances in the design of these devices, 3D printers have become far more affordable, making this technology highly accessible. The 3D printing phenomena has infiltrated almost every industry, assisting in conceptualising, prototyping as well as small batch production of parts and components,” he said.

He also added that in the medical industry specifically, 3D printing is continuously being used to better the lives of patients as well as revolutionise surgeries for doctors globally. “If we look at the innovation that 3D printing has brought into the medical industry, we just have to look at last year’s pioneering surgical procedure using 3D-printed middle ear bones, developed by Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team at the University of Pretoria (UP) in South Africa which made headlines globally. The 3D printing community which is growing has proved that this technology is here to stay and that anyone with an idea can literally see their idea come to life,” he said.

As the Coronavirus outbreak spreads across the globe, we see countries implementing strict travel restrictions, work from home policies and social distancing measures. Even more developed countries are seeing their healthcare systems overloaded and fatigued by COVID-19. In more severe cases, infected patients may require specialist ventilators to take over the role of the lungs. These ventilators are in short supply along with masks and other preventative and safety gear. This shortage of essential equipment has united design engineers and makers in the 3D printing community who have already responded to the global crisis by volunteering their respective skills to ease the pressure on manufacturers, healthcare providers and governments.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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AfDB approves $40m for Angola's SMEs - ITREALMS

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the sum of $40 million for Angola’s Banco Millennium Atl├óntico to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), reports ITREALMS.

The package consists of a $32 million line of credit from the African Development Bank and an additional $8 million in parallel financing from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF)
ITREALMS  also gathered that the AfDB Board of Directors had on 15 April approved a $40 million financial package to support BMA to bolster local production and job creation through its portfolio of SMEs.

The package consists of a $32 million line of credit from the African Development Bank and an additional $8 million in parallel financing from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), a co-financing fund sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the African Development Bank.

The facility will provide the long-term financing required by BMA to support the expansion needs of growth-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating mostly in agriculture, agro-industry and domestic manufacturing.

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, the package will also help to create direct and indirect jobs, contribute critically needed foreign exchange savings through import substitution, and lay a foundation to boost exports to neighbouring countries.

By fostering local production and stimulating job creation through a diversified pipeline of projects, the funds will ultimately contribute towards Angola’s efforts to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth as well as economic diversification in a country heavily reliant on oil export revenues.

BMA, one of the largest commercial banks in Angola and a leading financier of domestic firms, especially SMEs, is headquartered in the capital city, Luanda, with a country-wide network of branches. It offers products spanning commercial, investment and private banking solutions. BMA has been a partner of choice for Angolan SMEs in agriculture and manufacturing value chains.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

@50: Gani Adams devotes life to charity, service to humanity - ITREALMS

The Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, has said he would devote the rest of his life to charity and service to humanity, reports ITREALMS.

Adams, who will be 50 on Thursday, April 30, however, said he is dedicating this year’s birthday to God and to the memory of those that have lost their lives to the raging COVID-19 global pandemic.

A press statement made available to 
ITREALMS on Wednesday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, the Yoruba leader said he would be focusing more on charity to the poor and the less privileged people in the society even as he promised to continually touch the lives of the people positively.

Iba Adams, who marks his birthday annually with several activities, including visits to motherless babies homes, informed also that Nigerians, especially from the South West, would begin to feel his impact through initiatives that would add value to their lives.

He explained further that the idea was to concentrate more on building the future of the people through skill acquisition programmes and human capacity development initiatives.

Iba Adams said: “I am not getting younger.

“Attaining this glorious age is never by my power or might.

“It is simply by the special grace of God.

“God has been so wonderful to me and the rest of my family.

“Therefore, at 50, I think I need to do a lot more in enriching the lives of the poor people in the country.”

“As the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, it is important to look beyond the present situation in the country and see how we can be of help to people that have lost hope.

“It is wonderful putting smiles to the faces of several people through charity.

“It is quite interesting impacting people's lives positively and that is exactly what I want to live my life for.

“I want to impact humanity through empowerment programmes and human capacity development initiatives.

“These are some of the areas I would be focusing on now.

“Apart from my usual social activism and crusade, I would like to use my social networks and influence to change the narratives, particularly in the South West.

Iba Adams also reiterated the need for an egalitarian society, saying the challenge before the leadership of this country now is the struggle for a better society.

He urged the Federal Government to enhance social equality and equal rights for all and sundry, pointing out that social equality remains the nexus of an egalitarian society.

He said: “We need to do our job at all times, playing the role of watchdogs to the government in the overall interest of the people.

“We need to tell our leaders the truth, especially on issues that have direct impact on the lives of the people.

“The way the health crisis of the Coronavirus global pandemic was managed in Nigeria as well as the attendant social and inequitable distribution of palliatives to the people, really exposed the failures of the government.

“It shows the level of our leaders' insensitivity to the plights of the people and that is the reality of our situation.

“And at this point in time in our country, we need to inculcate the idea of putting the interests of the people first before that of ours.

“A society thrives where there is justice and social equality.

“And that is the essence of an egalitarian society.”

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Madagascar unveils toll-free line for COVID-Organics remedy - ITREALMS

Following the massive distribution to the population of Madagascar, a toll-free number, 910, has been unveiled in response to questions or requests for clarification on the use of tambavy, Covid-Organics, remedy developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (MIAR), reports ITREALMS.

Noteworthy is that in line with declaration by the President of Madagascar, Mr. Andry Rajaolina as a preventive and curative request continue on the ChineseVirus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, said that three medical teachers have been mandated to be available at the CCO-Covid-19 Center and respond to users.

According to reports by Madagascar Tribune, quoted the Minister of Communication and Culture, Lalatiana Andriantongarivo, as saying that in addition to this issue, the private message section of the official Facebook page of the Ministry of Communication and Culture is also ready to collect questions.

Professor Herintsoa Rafatro, specialist in pharmacology and researcher in traditional Malagasy family medicine or "Raokandrom-pianakaviana malagasy"; Professor Luc Rakotovao, biologist and professor at the university and Professor Davida Ramanitra Hasimbola, pharmacologist have been appointed as official spokespersons on the Covid-Organics.

"They are able and in the best position to answer all questions concerning Covid-Organics, such as its intake in relation to the patient's state of health, its dosage and instructions for use, or any contraindications" , said Lalatiana Andriatongarivo.

These three scientists will take turns at CCO-Covid-19 to answer questions asked at 910 and the official page of the ministry.

Meanwhile, Schools in Madagascar, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, resumed normal classes following consistent flattening of the curve on the ChineseVirus-19 also known Coronavirus or COVID-19 in the country and development of cure locally.

The local cure known as CVO or COVID Organic, was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (MIAR).

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Establish more testing centres, face masks, FG told - ITREALMS

Federal Government has been urged to establish more testing centres across Nigeria and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to provide Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) to security agents as a matter of urgency, reports ITREALMS.

This was appeal was made in the latest report by CLEEN Foundation, detailing its observations in the ongoing lockdown measures put in place by Federal and State governments across Nigeria.

The Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mr. Benson Olugbuo, in a statement on Tuesday, listed some recommendations, calling on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to work towards activating more testing centers across Nigeria and embark on aggressive testing of citizens.

Olugbuo in the report also advised the government to intensify COVID-19 awareness in local communities by sensitizing the people about the seriousness of the virus and the danger of shielding infected persons. 

He further urged the PTF to "prioritise the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for security agents as promised by the President during the recent national broadcast".

CLEEN Foundation also advised both the Federal and Kano State governments to as a matter compulsion, investigate the recent reports of deaths of persons recorded within a short period in Kano state.

In addition, he called on the Federal government to increase its surveillance in Kano state and strengthen the state’s COVID-19 response system in the areas of capacity building and supply of testing kits.

The Foundation also recommended for the governments to prioritize the distribution of facemasks as a first line of defense against the COVID-19.

"The imbalance in the distribution of palliatives across the country should be addressed. Hunger and starvation have become an existential issue during the restriction of movement," the statement read.

Ayo Midele/Editor
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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

RCS Ghana selects Eutelsat for Direct to Home broadcast - ITREALMS

Paris-based telecom giant, the Eutelsat Communications has secured a multi-year contract with RCS Ghana to provide capacity for the broadcast of its Direct-To-Home (DTH), reports ITREALMS.

ITREALMS gathered would bring bouquet of content to viewers in Ghana and beyond

RCS will use Ku-Band band capacity on EUTELSAT 7B to broadcast its fast growing free-to-air DTH bouquet comprising SD and HD channels to the Ghanaian market and over 40 other countries in Africa.

The 7° East neighbourhood is a key orbital position for regional TV channels. Over 500 TV channels already broadcast from 7° East which has become a new DTH hotspot for Sub-Saharan Africa with some of the fastest growth rates in the region.

Mr Hamza Tanko, Chairman and CEO of RCS Ghana: “We are delighted to partner with Eutelsat for the broadcast of the RCS DTH bouquet, delivering exceptional content to viewers in Ghana and beyond, and enabling the broadcast of any channel in Ghana in high quality and at compelling rates. The 7° East position is ideal to serve the Ghanaian market and EUTELSAT 7B offers consistent coverage and signal power all over Ghana as well as complete Sub-Saharan coverage of over 40 African countries.”

Nicolas Baravalle, Regional Vice President, Sub Saharan Africa of Eutelsat said: “We are proud to support RCS Ghana in rolling out this high quality content offering. This contract reflects the buoyancy of the Ghanaian broadcast market, the attraction of the unparalleled coverage of our 7° East neighbourhood and Eutelsat’s expertise in the African market. We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration”

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Northern chiefs denied receiving COVID-19 rice from Lagos commissioner - ITREALMS

The Arewa Council of Chiefs in Lagos have said the state's Commissioner of Waterfront, Architect Ahmed Kabiru Abdullahi, lied for allegedly claiming that the council had been given 'several tonnes' of rice, reports ITREALMS.

The council, which said it has not received even a grain of rice from the Lagos State government, warned people to abstain from using its name to carry out fraudulent activities.

A press statement signed by the Galadiman of Lagos on behalf of the Arewa Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Aliyu Bambado, the body asked the person who announced the purported delivery of rice to prove who mandated him to approach the state government on behalf of the northerners.

He also said their attention has been drawn to a social media information credited to 4 individuals (who, as close friends of his) received several tons of bags of rice from the Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront , Architect Ahmed Kabiru Abdullahi purportedly on behalf of Northerners in Lagos.

"We wish to set the records as follows:

1. That the Lagos State Council of Chiefs or precisely office of Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos has never delegated or nominated anyone to receive palliatives on behalf of Northerners in Lagos.

2. That the Council of Chiefs and office of Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos has not seen even a single grain of rice purportedly from either the Commissioner for Waterfront or the Lagos State Government.

3. That the fellow who made the social media broadcast on the rice allocation needs to prove who mandated him to approach the Lagos State Government on behalf of Northerners, when the Lagos Council of Chiefs, to which the Sarkin Hausawa belongs was there as the legal and constitutionally recognized body of elders.

4. That anyone who is in doubt of the limits of the powers bestowed on the the Lagos State Council of Chiefs or the office of the Sarkin Hausawan Lagos should visit the Oba of Lagos to have himself educated

5. Any attempt to use the name and office of the Lagos State Council of Chiefs or the office of Sarkin Hausawa for extortion will not be tolerated.

6. That it is totally unacceptable for any person or group of persons to indulge in cutting corners or going through the backdoor to do underhand deals capable of ridiculing the image and respectability of the office of Sarkin Hausawa.

We therefore wish to issue stern warning to the Commissioner for Waterfront to be mindful of allowing his office to be used by shadowy groups of people, who have no legal or Constitutional recognition, as this would amount a collaboration to defraud the government. We hope all stakeholders will join hands to stop this abhorrent attitude.

We wish to reiterate that henceforth anyone found using the name of our respected traditional institution to take advantage of anything meant for public good will be faced with legal action.

We make bold to say that, at an appropriate time soon, we will roll out the new penalities for acts that are confirmed to be dubious by all standards.

Most importantly, if the Lagos State Government wishes to convey anything that has to do with the legitimate rights of the Northerners resident in the State ( just like this lockdown palliative), it should reach out to the Council of Chiefs through the only known Sarkin Hausawa. We say this because anything worth doing is worth doing well, and the palliative is not a privilege but a right.

Like we once pointed out, the authentic Chairman of Arewa Council of Chiefs, Lagos State is Alhaji Aminu Yaro Dogara and has his Deputies, who is also the Sarkin Fulani of Lagos - Alhaji (Dr) Mohammed Bambado; and Sarkin Hausawan Idi-Araba remains Alhaji Idris Haruna.

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CBN lifts suspension on clearing of cheques - ITREALMS

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted suspension on clearing of cheques, reports ITREALMS.

This, ITREALMS gathered follows earlier communication on the temporary suspension of cheque clearing in Nigeria which was instituted on the 31 March 2020 by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to CBN sources and Bankers Committee including the First Bank, “we are pleased to inform you that the CBN has now lifted the suspension.”

First Bank, for instance, explained that to accommodate users of cheques and it’s use as one of the payment instruments in Nigeria in spite of the lockdown in some states and the Federal Capital Territory..

“All cheque instruments will now pass through the clearing system effective today 28 April 2020,” sources close to First Bank affirmed.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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E-Learning and Knowledge sharing platform for COVID-19 - ITREALMS

As part of the crisis response actions to strengthen the capacities of member countries to withstand the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), in coordination with their partners, the Moroccan Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Resuscitation (SMAAR) launched an online platform to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing between medical teams from African member countries of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB). The initiative, that comes under the Reverse Linkage Mechanism and the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, was rolled out via the first of two webinars focusing on pandemic preparedness and response, whilst leveraging on international expertise in this field.

The E-Learning and Knowledge Sharing Platform on "Preparing for and Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic in African IsDB Member Countries” comes in line with the IsDB Group 3Rs COVID19 Strategic Program ; Response, Restore and Restart to support the Member Countries in their fight against the pandemic. In addition, it is in line with the AATB Response to COVID19 Crisis Plan as agreed in its Executive Committee Meeting held on 9/4/2020.

This also comes in partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco, Founder Member of the AATB Program, which adopted several other initiatives to counter the impact of the COVID-19 on the African and Arab countries.

The initiative aims firstly to build the capacities of medical staff in African countries on their COVID-19 response protocols and approaches. Secondly, the webinars are designed to encourage dialogue and scenario mapping to identify key challenges facing participating countries and to outline best practice approaches for successfully integrating response strategies in their respective countries. Additionally, the initiative will facilitate engagement between decision makers and practitioners in the participating countries and pave the way for increased global collaboration.

Mr. Amadou Thierno Diallo, Acting Director General Global Practices, IsDB, stated: "To combat the COVID19 Pandemic, the sharing of experience, the transfer of technical expertise as well as the development of human and institutional capacities are as important as the supply of equipment and sanitary products. South-South cooperation is an effective and rapid means to achieve these objectives”

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ITU postpones Digital World 2020 over COVID-19 pandemic - ITREALMS

Due to the ChineseVirus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19 ravaging the world, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Ministry of Information and Communications, VietNam have taken the difficult decision to postpone ITU Digital World 2020, reports ITREALMS.

ITU Digital World 2020, ITREALMS gathered is the global tech event for government, industry and Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The event will now take place as ITU Digital World 2021 in September 2021 in the same venue in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. We believe this is the best and safest course of action to ensure the well-being and safety of all event participants and guarantee a successful event.

The world is facing an unprecedented threat from COVID-19 and ICT has become a key ally in combatting this threat and helping to prevent, detect and diagnose disease. It has taken on a new importance in connecting us for health, work, education, entertainment, news, public announcements and to our friends and families. For the first time, digital solutions and platforms are being used on a massive scale to help cope with and respond to a pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis has also, however, highlighted its own digital divide, where many families, workers, businesses and populations are not able to access or afford the benefits of digital technology. 

Action is urgently needed to ensure a fair access to ICTs, for the benefit of all. Now, more than ever, governments, industry, international organizations, NGOs, academia and other stakeholders must work together to find mutually beneficial solutions. We must set ambitious, measurable goals for ensuring an equitable transition to the digital age.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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Young writers call for entries on COVID-19 Poetry, Essay anthology - ITREALMS

The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) through her newly launched 'Writers Against COVID-19' movement invites writers to submit poems and essays on COVID-19 for her upcoming COVID-19 Poetry/Essay Anthology, reports ITREALMS.

The proposed anthology, 
ITREALMS gathered, is in reaction to the novel COVID-19 pandemic currently 'harassing' the world; and it offers writers copious page to register their views on the pandemic, as well as contribute their pencraft towards winning the war against the virus.

The Project Coordinator, Izunna Okafor, said, "the maiden anthology will feature 'responsive' and 'bang-up' works on COVID-19 by ardent writers from different parts of the world, and will hauntingly stand as global writers' common 'voice' and 'punch' in the fight against coronavirus."

The anthology which is expected to be available by the fall of May exclusively focuses on 'CORONAVIRUS'. Thus, only works written on the theme will be accepted for publication therein.

Before submitting your entry, he advised potential candidates to note that submission is free and open to writers from any part of the world; Entry must focus on the theme —Coronavirus;  'Coronavirus' is NOT the title of the anthology, neither must it be the title of your entry. It is only but a theme, and must be adhered to while writing.

In addition, he said, entrants could give their work any interesting title of their choice; There is NO monetary prize attached. The cause being championed by the movement and the anthology is a worthy one, and thus requires ardency, volunteerism and sacrifice; and "Only works that 'comply' to the submission guidelines will be selected and published."

Further, he said that submission guidelines includes tht only one entry per entrant, be it poem or essay, while such entry must be in English Language, stressing that it should be brief and concise — a maximum of 500 words for essays, and a 30 lines for poetry.

Izunna emphasised that author’s information comprising location, contact details, and a short bio of not over 40 words should be included in the submission.

Even as entry must be type-written and sent in the body of the mail; not an attachment, insisting that entries sent as attachment will be automatically disqualified.

Entry, he pointed out, must be original work of the entrant, even as all entries should be sent on or before 23rd May, 2020, maintaining that late entry will not be accepted.

He enjoined writers to send entries via writersagainstcovid1­9movement@gmail.com, with email subject: 'COVID-19 ANTHOLOGY'.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Canon launches 'Connected' with free access to content hub - ITREALMS


Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA)
The Canon Europe has announced the launch of Canon Connected, a free-to-access content hub, designed to educate, inspire and entertain photography enthusiasts and videographers. Produced by Canon Ambassadors and community of filmmakers, experts and influencers across Europe, inspiring and educational videos will be uploaded to the hub regularly, enabling people to lean a new skill or perfect their technique during these unprecedented times.

For many professional photographers and filmmakers, the restrictive lockdown measures imposed across the world has impacted their ability to work and travel. Canon Connected provides these very people the opportunity to share their experience, knowledge and talent with a virtual community of photography enthusiasts and in the process, enables them to continue with their livelihoods from the safety of their home.

Canon Connected provides a plethora of ways for visual storytellers to create and share thought provoking content. Covering a variety of relevant topics, videos will comprise of tips, tricks and tutorials for anyone interested in learning from the masters of their craft or simply fine-tune their photography or video-making skills.

Visitors to the Canon Connected hub will be able to select from videos produced by some of the world’s most acclaimed and accomplished photographers and filmmakers, including Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Daniel Etter, documentary and expedition photographer Ulla Lohmann and editorial expert Wanda Martin, talking through how to set up a home studio. In addition, extreme sports photographer Richard Walch shares his vlogging essentials, while family photographer Helen Bartlett provides tips for how to photograph restless children.
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COVID-19 Presidential Address: What Buhari told Nigerians - ITREALMS.

1. Fellow Nigerians

2. I will start by commending you all for the resilience and patriotism that you have shown in our collective fight against the biggest health challenge of our generation.

3. As at yesterday, 26th April 2020, some 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded globally with about 900,000 recoveries. Unfortunately, some 200,000 people have passed away as a result of this pandemic.

4. The health systems and economies of many nations continue to struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

5. Nigeria continues to adapt to these new global realities on a daily basis. Today, I will present the facts as they are and explain our plans for the coming months fully aware that some key variables and assumptions may change in the coming days or weeks.

6. Exactly two weeks ago, there were 323 confirmed cases in 20 States and the Federal Capital Territory.

7. As at this morning, Nigeria had recorded 1,273 cases across 32 States and the FCT. Unfortunately, this includes 40 deaths.

8. I am using this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families of all Nigerians that have lost their loved ones as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is our collective loss and we share your grief.

9. Initial models predicted that Nigeria will record an estimated 2,000 confirmed cases in the first month after the index case.

10. This means that despite the increase in the number of confirmed cases recorded in the past two weeks, the measures we have put in place thus far have yielded positive outcomes against the projections.

11. The proportion of cases imported from other countries has reduced to only 19% of new cases, showing that our border closures yielded positive results. These are mostly fellow Nigerians returning through our land borders. We will continue to enforce land border arrival protocols as part of the containment strategy.

12. Today, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has accredited 15 laboratories across the country with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day across the country.

13. Based on your feedback, Lagos State Government and the FCT with support from NCDC have established several sample collection centers. They are also reviewing their laboratory testing strategy to further increase the number of tests they can perform including the accreditation of selected private laboratories that meet the accreditation criteria.

14. Several new fully equipped treatment and isolation centres have been operationalised across the country thereby increasing bed capacity to about three thousand.

15. I commend the State Governors for the activation of State-level Emergency Operation Centres, establishment of new treatment centres and the delivery of aggressive risk communication strategies.

16. Over 10,000 healthcare workers have been trained. For their protection, additional personal protective equipment have been distributed to all the states.

17. Although we have experienced logistical challenges, we remain committed to establishing a solid supply chain process to ensure these heroic professionals can work safely and are properly equipped.

18. In keeping with our Government’s promise to improve the welfare of healthcare workers, we have signed a memorandum of understanding on the provision of hazard allowances and other incentives with key health sector professional associations.

19. We have also procured insurance cover for 5,000 frontline health workers. At this point, I must commend the insurance sector for their support in achieving this within a short period of time.

20. Nigeria has also continued to receive support from the international community, multilateral agencies, the private sector and public-spirited individuals. This support has ensured that critical lifesaving equipment and materials, which have become scarce globally, are available for Nigeria through original equipment manufacturers and government-to-government processes.

21. The distribution and expansion of palliatives which I directed in my earlier broadcast is still on-going in a transparent manner. I am mindful of the seeming frustration being faced by expectant citizens. I urge all potential beneficiaries to exercise patience as we continue to fine tune our logistical and distribution processes working with the State Governments.

22. Our Security Agencies continue to rise to the challenge posed by this unusual situation. While we feel deeply concerned about isolated security incidents, I want to assure all Nigerians that your safety and security remain our primary concern especially in these difficult and uncertain times.

23. As we focus on protecting lives and properties, we will not tolerate any human rights abuse by our security agencies. The few reported incidences are regrettable, and I want to assure you that the culprits will be brought to justice.

24. I urge all Nigerians to continue to cooperate and show understanding whenever they encounter security agents. Furthermore, for their protection, I have instructed that the personnel of all the security agencies be provided with the necessary personal protective equipment against infection.

25. As we continue to streamline our response in the centres of Lagos and the FCT, I am gravely concerned about the unfortunate developments in Kano in recent days. Although an in-depth investigation is still on-going, we have decided to deploy additional Federal Government manpower, material and technical resources to strengthen and support the State Government’s efforts, with immediate effect.

26. In Kano, and indeed many other States that are recording new cases, preliminary findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging community transmission.

27. Drawing from these, I implore all Nigerians to continue to adhere strictly to the advisories published by the Presidential Task Force and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

28. These include regular hand washing, physical distancing, wearing of face masks/coverings in public, avoidance of non-essential movement and travels and avoidance of large gatherings.

29. Fellow Nigerians, for the past four weeks, most parts of our country have been under either Federal Government or State Government lockdown. As I mentioned earlier, these steps were necessary and overall, have contributed to slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in our country.

30. However, such lockdowns have also come at a very heavy economic cost. Many of our citizens have lost their means of livelihood. Many businesses have shut down. No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while awaiting the development of vaccines.

31. In my last address, I mentioned that Federal Government will develop strategies and policies that will protect lives while preserving livelihoods.

32. In these two weeks, the Federal and State Governments have jointly and collaboratively worked hard on how to balance the need to protect health while also preserving livelihoods, leveraging global best practices while keeping in mind our peculiar circumstances.

33. We assessed how our factories, markets, traders and transporters can continue to function while at the same time adhering to NCDC guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.

34. We assessed how our children can continue to learn without compromising their health.

35. We reviewed how our farmers can safely plant and harvest in this rainy season to ensure our food security is not compromised. Furthermore, we also discussed how to safely transport food items from rural production areas to industrial processing zones and ultimately, to the key consumption centres.

36. Our goal was to develop implementable policies that will ensure our economy continues to function while still maintaining our aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These same difficult decisions are being faced by leaders around the world.

37. Based on the above and in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the various Federal Government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, I have approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020.

38. However, this will be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors.

39. Furthermore, new nationwide measures are to be introduced as follows;

a. There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. This means all movements will be prohibited during this period except for essential services;

b. There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travel until further notice;

c. Partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers; and

d. We will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene. Furthermore, the restrictions on social and religious gatherings shall remain in place. State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

40. For the avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States shall remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Monday, 4th May 2020.

41. The Presidential Task Force shall provide sector specific details to allow for preparations by Governments, businesses and institutions.

42. In respect to the above guidelines, State Governors may choose to adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above.

43. To support our businesses and traders, the monetary and fiscal authorities shall deploy all the necessary provisions needed for production to continue and thus, jobs restored.

44. These revised guidelines will not apply to Kano State.

45. With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring States.

46. I wish to once again, commend the frontline workers across the country who, on a daily basis, risk everything to ensure we win this fight. For those who got infected in the line of duty, rest assured that Government will do all it takes to support you and your families during this exceedingly difficult period. I will also take this opportunity to assure you all that your safety, wellbeing and welfare remain paramount to our Government.

47. I will also recognise the support we have received from our traditional rulers, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and other prominent religious and community leaders. Your cooperation and support have significantly contributed to the successes we have recorded to date.

48. I will urge you all to please continue to create awareness on the seriousness of the coronavirus among your worshippers and communities while appealing that they strictly comply with public health advisories.

49. I also thank the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Presidential Task Force for all their hard work to date. Through this collaboration, I remain confident that success is achievable.

50. I also wish to thank corporate organisations, philanthropists, the UN system, the European Union, friendly nations, the media and other partners that have taken up the responsibility of supporting our response.

51. And finally, I will thank all Nigerians again for your patience and cooperation during this difficult and challenging period. I assure you that government shall continue to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and livelihoods of our citizens and residents.

52. I thank you for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Monday, April 27, 2020

COVID-19: Buhari extends total lockdown till Monday- ITREALMS

… Approves 10-hour curfew in Lagos, FCT, Ogun
Nigeria’s President, General Muhammadu Buhari, retired, has pronounced a partial lockdown after the next five days, commencing Monday, May 4, 2020, reports ITREALMS.

Buhari in a third nationwide address on ChineseVirus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, said he has approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown effective Monday, May 4, 2020 by 9am, with a 10-hour curfew.

He also said in the address monitored by 
ITREALMS that it has become necessary following recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, various Federal Government committees and Nigeria Governors Forum arrived at partially relaxing the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States.

As said by him, effective Monday, 9am on May 4, selected business and offices could now open from 9am to 6pm.

“There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am,” he said, stressing that this means all movements will be prohibited during this period except essential services, insisting that there will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice.

In addition, Buhari said there will be partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services, to allow for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers.

“We will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene,” he maintained.

Furthermore, General Buhari said, the restrictions on social and religious gathers shall remain in place, urging the state governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF), he said, shall provide sector specific details and timing guidelines to allow for preparations by governments, businesses and institutions.

“State Governors may choose to amend, adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above on public health and hygiene,” he urged.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Asiwaju declares COVID-19 real threat, as another aide tests positive – ITREALMS

The National Leader of the All Progress Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared that ChineseVirus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19 is real threat to the Nigerian society, just as another of his aide tested positive, reports ITREALMS.

Reacting to the recent test conducted on his household by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) following the death of his Chief Security Officer, Alhaji Lateef Raheem, he said “Covid-19 is a real and present threat.”

He advised those who discount it or claim it is a fabrication, saying they are doing a grave and dangerous disservice to the public well-being.

“Likewise, those who stigmatise people who may have been stricken by the virus also do a disservice by casting blame on the innocent and discouraging people from taking the COVID test,” he said.

Nigeria, he said, cannot defeat this health menace through ignorance or by shaming one another.

“We can only beat it through transparency, knowledge and compassion. This, we have learned first-hand,” he said.

According to him in a press statement made available to 
ITREALMS by his media aide, Mr. Tunde Rahman, noted that following the death of the well-respected and beloved Chief Security Officer, Alhaji Lateef Raheem, NCDC medics took the wise precaution of taking samples from his body for testing to actually determine the cause of death.

“Today, the test results are back. The samples tested positive for Covid-19,” Asiwaju was quoted as saying.

He also said that as a precautionary measure taken soon after the death of Alhaji Raheem, himself, wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and all their aides took COVID-19 tests Saturday, April 25.

“The results of the tests were returned this morning. Test results for both Asiwaju and Senator TInubu were negative,” he said.

The results of one aide, he confirmed was positive, while the rest of the staff was negative, stressing that the one staff member has been isolated in accordance with NCDC guidelines.

“Further contact tracing and COVID-19 tests are being conducted by the NCDC with regard to the relatives and possible contacts of that staff member,” he said.

Further, Asiwaju stressed that openness and transparency must be observed if Nigerians were to defeat this disease.

“There is no house immune to its entry. Contracting the virus should not bring social or moral stigma any more than contracting malaria or a common cold.

“We cannot overcome this challenge by acting like it does not exist or by trying to conceal that someone may have it due to social shame. The culture of denial is counterproductive and will do great harm in our current situation.”

Asiwaju further asked that Nigerians should not be afraid to be tested if they have any symptoms or if they believe they may have come in contact with someone who has been infected.

“We must do all we can to contain the spread of the virus and to well treat those of us who have been hit by it.

“As you go about your day, we know you must find daily sustenance. Yet, please continue to do all you can to maintain social distance and to take all other public health measures to protect yourself and others. In this way, we all may contribute to halt the spread of this dangerous virus,” he submitted.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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COVID-19 bonfires: Like Bayelsans, like Lagosians - ITREALMS

Not until recently the environmental hazards being faced by those at the Niger Delta region of this country, especially Bayelsa and Rivers States dawned on some of Lagosians as the lockdown over the ChineseVirus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19 continues its ravage.

ITREALMS gathered this was heightened by the reported unsigned letter from alleged “1m Boys” to Lagosians, which stated inter alia:

“Alert! Alert!! Alert!!!“We the undefeated“ONE MILLION BOYS“Are coming to visit your area very soon.“ So, make everybody prepare.“If you don’t comply, we will cut your hands”

Penultimate Easter Monday night was the same day the ‘eyes’ of some Lagosians became clear as they used to say in a local parlance on and over the issues of degradation when it comes to environmental hazards associated with the flames of any kind especially that of petroleum related like tyres, coupled with lack of adequate security.

Throughout the night was that of bonfires with used tyres. Initially some residents may not have cared much but on inquiry, it was learnt that some unknown group of criminals were said to have visited the neighborhoods of Ladipo at Shogunle, Mafoluku-Oshodi and even Ijesha-Tedo. But the effect did not manifest until the following morning when people woke up to behold black dust known as ‘soot’ where there is any atom of white changing colour.

Even after cleaning of such surfaces, in the next hour or two the black dust remains and by evening, the dust has not subsided because the debris are on the floor and once movement is expressed on the surface on the main road, the dust spreads.

Although by afternoon, some good Samaritans who understood the implications went out to sprinkle water to calm the dust, once Ikeja Electric restored public power supply and taps started running. As at the morning of the first day, a lot of residents were reported to have coughed out blood or clouts as first spittles.

As opposed to high-temperature incinerators, bonfires also tend to produce more carbon monoxide, which is harmful when breathed in and can form toxic ozone. As Milbourn puts it: "It almost doesn't matter what you burn but, instead, how you burn it."

“When you breathe in smoke, the particles could get deep into your respiratory system. You've likely experienced the results — stinging eyes, runny nose and coughing. ... But for those with underlying respiratory illnesses, inhaling smoke is dangerous,” a medical expert warned.

Health experts at Cleveland Clinics have posited that when anyone breathes in smoke, the particles could get deep into the respiratory system, thereby resulting in likely experiences such as stinging eyes, runny nose and coughing. ... But for those with underlying respiratory illnesses, inhaling smoke is dangerous, mostly in a large scale within any given society hence it becomes environmental hazard.

What is environmental hazard?

An environmental hazard, as elucidated by experts at Wikipedia and Omics on Environmental Hazards and Human Health; is a substance, a state or an event which has the potential to threaten the surrounding natural environment and or adversely affect people's health, including but not limited natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes, electromagnetic fields, floods, light pollution, noise pollution, vibration, x-rays etc. Noting that radioactivity is often associated with an exposure dependent risk of some cancers notably leukemia.

The hazards associated thereof have been further categorized into core four classes, namely physical, chemical, biological, and cultural. Physical hazards are physical processes that occur naturally in the environment, according to experts at study.com.

They also postulated that chemical hazards, for instance, are hazardous substances that could cause harm. While the Biological hazards include viruses, bacteria, insects, animals, to name a few, that could cause adverse health impacts, whereas the cultural hazards have been defined by Chegg’s experts as certain behaviors or practices that expose people to various types of health hazards, and not limited to over-eating, excessive smoking or consumption of alcohol, use of drugs that are addictive, avoidance of exercise, and choice of hazardous occupations.

What is a substance?

A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemical substance cannot be separated into its constituent elements by physical separation methods, i.e., without breaking chemical bonds. This, Chemistry dictionary, defined further as the “real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence.”

What are tyres made of and hazards?

The materials of modern pneumatic tyres are synthetic rubber, natural rubber, fabric and wire, along with carbon black and other chemical compounds. They consist of a tread and a body. The tread provides traction while the body provides containment for a quantity of compressed air, according to experts.

They also classified the three main effects of tyre burning on the environment as air, water, and soil pollution. The airborne pollution caused from the tyre burning kilns is significant, consequently, the black fumes also known as ‘soot’ contain heavy metals and other harmful pollutants that linger in the air and could lead from acute to chronic health hazards.

Often in every country that may have endorsed the United Nations Environmental Protection policies, its absolutely illegal to burn vehicular tyres among others, as stated recently by the Deputy Director at Environmental Protection Agency Ghana, which is the department of Ghana Petroleum, Mr Kojo Agbenor-Efunam.

Lagosians bemoan bonfires, fears more death:

Lagosians wake up after the second Presidential address on the ravaging ChineseVirus-19 to see most of their streets with bonfires flames still gushing in Ojodu, Oshodi, Shogunle, Isolo and some parts of Ogba, all in Lagos, showed that the bonfires were set to wade off hoodlums, particularly the 1m Boys.

On the last days of the first phase of the 14-day lockdown as directed by the President, General Muhammadu Buhari, retired, hoodlums were reported attacking residents in Agege and environ, asking for food. Even as the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had disclosed that over 100 of such hoodlums including cultists identified as Awawa Boys were arrested and would be prosecuted according to the law.

Following the bonfires across the state, most residents were faced with increase in cough and clout spits as well as effects on their throats, just as health experts said that for those with underlying respiratory illnesses, inhaling smoke is dangerous.

Leave Lagos, says Odumosu:

In response to lamentations of Lagosians, the State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu warned armed robbers and cultists to leave the state or face the consequences of crime.

Odumosu who spoke through Lagos Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bala Elkana, said that two suspected armed robbers and 98 suspected cultists were arrested already in different parts of the state.

Equally, Elkanah said that the Command warned parents to advise their children to stay at home as the police were ready to deal with hoodlums of any kind in the state, warning that hoodlums should either leave the state or repent from their evil ways.

Like Bayelsans, Like Lagosians bonfire:

Above all, the outcome of every bonfire is what the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region has experienced for years, particularly the Bayelsans, whenever there are flames from petroleum products or better still crude oil processing. A section of America environmentalists under the aegis of the Centre for American Progress (CAP), posited that particle pollution, commonly referred to as “soot,” is one of the deadliest forms of air pollution, thus is essential for every national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopts the strictest rules possible to protect citizens from the dangers of breathing these particles.

Soot defined:

CAP which has leading policy experts, analysts, and senior fellows, including Mr. Olugbenga Ajilore, defined soot as the common term for a type of particle pollution called PM 2.5—particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. They stressed that such fine particles, are even smaller than dust and mold particles, or approximately 1/30 of the size of a human hair. This encompassed a variety of pollutants, including chemicals, acids, metals, soils, and dust, which are suspended in the air after emission. Soot can come in solid, liquid, or gaseous (“aerosols”) states.

In addition, CAP team said soot is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, particularly coal, thus is emitted by a variety of sources, including burning coal for electricity or industrial fuel, manufacturing, oil refining, and motor vehicles.

Soot as a public health concern:

Experts at CAP maintained that soot poses tremendous harms to public health, particularly because of its size, even as particulate matter is so small that it could easily enter human lungs and bloodstream, potentially causing damage in a number of ways. While the Environmental Protection Agency of United State described the process of soot harming the human body as “Microscopic particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and have been linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including premature death, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children.”

Does Nigeria have EPA?

Yes, Nigeria do have. Historically, the Federal Government in1988 established the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) (now Federal Ministry of Environment with effect from September,1999) to protect, restore and preserve the nation’s ecosystem. FEPA has a wide range of functions to protect the environment, and primarily responsible for environmental licensing, enforcement of environmental law, environmental planning, education and guidance.

In Lagos, there is Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), unfortunately there was no education and or guidance over the implication or health hazards of Lagosians as may be associated to bonfires emitting from tyres.


From all indications, Nigeria may have FEPA and Lagos’s LASEPA, but its obvious the country has no policy guidelines on soot and its associated environmental hazards.

One had expected that at least, LASEPA should have issued a press statement in order to educate and enlighten Lagosians as they tend to live out the Bayelsan forced style of life due to the increase in bonfires, especially with used tyres.

As at the time of filing this story, Vulcanisers who often display used tyres as symbol of location, have developed plan to always pack their displayed tyres inside for safe keeping, because it has since the evolution of ChineseVirus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19 turned a scarce commodity.

Although some elites are engaging the residents turned over-night vigilante on the dangers inherent in any bonfires let alone with tyres.

For the state government its not enough to merely caution and condemn over the radio the bonfires, there should be a deliberate attempts to educate the populace, mostly Lagosians, especially on the health implications, namely premature death, heart attacks, and strokes, leukemia, besides acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children.

Though for Bayelsans, it may have come from economic crude oil, but for Lagosians, it’s out of security necessity. Therefore, its time to do all things possible to ensure that soot is reduced drastically if not eradicated, whilst it remains an avoidable health hazard that must be collectively battled. Not forgetting that the latest bonfires were elucidated by letters from robbery gang known as ‘1m Boys’ who have since abandoned night as the period of attacks to even unleash their attack and robberies on Lagosians during the day-time.

All hands must be on deck as number of emergency vigilante continues to rise. Lagosians must devoid of anything to escalate the COVID-19 related ailment by staying safe and practicing all health expert directives including putting on facemask when stepping out of homes.

*Contributed by Remmy Nweke

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